(Edited as I was inadvertently appearing to be condescending!)
Some interesting facts (or not as the case may be)
1) BMW owned Land Rover as part of Rover Group.
2) BMW famously sold Rover Group to the Phoenix Consortium for a tenner and Land Rover to Ford for considerably more. Land Rover was (still is I think) part of Ford's Premier Automotive Group along with Jag, Aston Martin and occasionally Volvo.
3)BMW retained the Cowley factory to build mini, the new (at that time) engine plant at Hams Hall and for some bizarre reason Swindon Pressing Plant.
4) Land Rover in 2000 consisted of people who were in the BMW organisation, some who transferred from Rover Cars and some people who came from Ford. I was that soldier....
5) Land Rover in 2004 has lots of Jag people plus original LR people and some Ford people.
6) The new Rangie (L30) was engineered by BMW and BMW engineers were working on the project right up to the start of production a.k.a job1. BMW's way of engineering a new car is one of continous change/improvement of parts right upto and through Job 1. This was an anathema to Ford and Rover personnel where design is frozen sometime before Job 1 unless its an urgent safety reqt. Which was is best? Good question. You tell me who builds better cars but also tell me who builds volume cars well. (cos it aint BMW)
7) The investment in Solihull for L30 was staggering. The engineering that went into that vehicle was also staggering.
8) LR trivia from the inside. Did you know that in 2000 Land Rover had 1538 different types of fastener used in its vehicle range. BMW used an additional
500 in L30. Ford used less across its whole vehicle range in Europe. Not that interesting really
9) Solihull is an old old factory. The workforce (IMVHO) has not embraced change and truly believes that they can take on Ford and win. ("We've seen off the bleedin' Germans & we'll do for the Yanks next.") Ford is a very different company in 04 than in 2000. They will
move production overseas if Solihull doesn't work. New Disco is being built in Halewood.
10) I love and hate LR's. Used to have a SIII for offroading & have done both RTV and CCV trials. They have the image. TD5 sounds great. I had two Disco's (company cars) in 2000/1 and for a £30k car I thought they were the worst ergonomics and build quality I'd seen. & I came from Ford who in the early to mid 90's were pretty bad themselves. I wouldn't spend my hard earned on anything else than a new Rangie. And I can't afford one of them
11) New Disco I am sure will be good motor. Range stormer (sporty Rangie) probably also. I understand from current contacts in LR that Defender replacement has been indefinately postponned. Defenders are hand built but not in a good way like Aston's!